COP28: Von der Leyen calls for global carbon tax, Macron wants G7 to stop burning coal by 2030
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen called for a global carbon tax on Friday. "There is a way to reduce emissions while stimulating innovation and growth: put a price on carbon," she said at the UN climate summit COP28 in Dubai.
Europe's carbon tax has already raised €175 billion since it was introduced 18 years ago. But only 23% of the world's emissions are covered by some form of carbon tax. A global tax will also free up additional funds for the global fight against climate change, von der Leyen added.
Von der Leyen also announced that more than 110 countries have agreed to triple their share of renewable energy and double energy efficiency by 2030. The EU had already launched an appeal in the spring, with the support of the United Arab Emirates as COP28 president. The target was later endorsed by both the G7 and the G20.
Macron wants coal phase-out
On the same day, French president Emmanuel Macron called on G7 countries to phase out coal by 2030. The largest economies should set an example, Macron said. France itself has set a target of closing its last coal-fired power plant by 2027.
Macron pointed out that current plans to build up to 500 gigawatts of new coal-fired power plants will ensure that the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming will be exceeded. "That's why we need a complete turnaround," he explained.
Macron also believes rich countries must phase out fossil fuels, including China, and called for the creation of a separate interest rate for "green" and "brown" energy for the private sector.
Food and agriculture get priority
The COP28 presidency also announced that a total of 134 countries, including Belgium, have committed to prioritising food and agriculture in their climate goals. The 134 countries involved account for 70 percent of global food production and include the United States, the EU, China and Brazil.
They have pledged to step up efforts to integrate food systems into their emission reduction plans. They will also support the sector with increased funding, improved infrastructure and the development of early warning systems. Land restoration, reducing food waste and phasing out greenhouse gas emitting agricultural practices will also be prioritised.
Globally, food systems are responsible for about a third of greenhouse gas emissions. They are also increasingly threatened by global warming and the resulting loss of biodiversity.
© Giuseppe CACACE / AFP